My Dad was a big jazz fan so I was always listening to all the great Big Band drummers like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Sonny Payne. I just started tapping along on the sofa with wooden spoons! At 17, I was the youngest professional resident/house drummer at one of the biggest clubs in the area. I moved to Germany in 1988 and recorded and toured for many major and independent record labels as a session player. I was mostly self-taught using hand technique books like Stick control/Master Studies etc. but I met the great Gary Chaffee in 1989 and really started to get my technique and reading together using his "Patterns" system. I played with Steeler, Zed Yago, Universe, Velvet Viper, Uli Jon Roth, Jack Bruce, Don Airey, John Parr and many more. Moved back to England and work as a specialist drum tutor for the local education authority and in private schools delivering a range of workshops and one-to-one lessons. I Still play live and record when I get the chance.
Most memorable Next-Level PerformanceImprovising live on air with Uli Jon Roth, Don Airey and Francois Garney at the International Guitar Festival back in 2003. There was a special moment where the music played us instead of the other way around. It was an almost spiritual experience.
What Drives Your Creativity?Listening to Alan Holdsworth with all his amazing musicians keeps my feet on the ground and inspires me to try to be a better musician.
Why do you choose Vic Firth?I think the Classic 5A wood tip stick is my favourite Vic Firth product. You can play any style of music with that stick from light as a whisper to full-on rock. I always have some of these with me wherever I go, be it teaching, studio or concert.